Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro

Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro is a delicious pasta dish with fresh tomatoes, garlic, basil, and Parmesan cheese.

copycat Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro in a bowl

This copycat Olive Garden Cappellini Pomodoro recipe is a light pasta entree made with fresh ingredients. You can prepare this dish in the time it takes to cook the pasta.

So if you are looking for an easy Italian dinner when coming home from a long day at work, this dish is for you.

What Is Capellini Pomodoro?

Pomodoro means tomato in Italian, and capellini consists of long, delicate strands of a pasta that goes best with light sauces such as this one. Capellini pomodoro is a classic combo of pasta, tomato sauce, garlic, olive oil, and basil – it’s simple but a standout Italian favorite.

This Olive Garden Capellini Pomodorois full of fresh flavors. Fresh diced plum tomatoes, garlic, basil, and tangy Parmesan cheese over thin cappellini pasta. The pomodoro sauce contains no meat making this dish a delicious meatless meal.

Is Capellini Pasta the Same as Angel Hair Pasta?

Capellini and angel hair pasta are similar products but are sold under different names. They are the thinnest kinds of spaghetti-like pasta you can buy. Capellini is of Italian origin and means little hairs in Italian.

Angel Hair could be regarded as the English name for a similar pasta. Angel hair pasta is slightly thinner than capellini, and for this recipe, you could use either one. These thin noodles will get lost in a more hearty meat sauce.

What Is the Difference Between Pomodoro Sauce and Marinara Sauce?

The basic ingredients are the same for both pomodoro sauce and marinara sauce – tomatoes, garlic, basil, olive oil. The main difference is in the consistency of the sauce. Marinara tends to be a bit more liquidy than Pomodoro with chunkier pieces of tomatoes.

Flavorful Substitutions and Additions to the Pomodoro Sauce

  • Add 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar to the tomato sauce to brighten up its overall flavor.
  • A pinch or two of sugar added to the sauce while cooking cuts down the acidity of the tomatoes.
  • Sautee 1 cup of white mushrooms in a little olive oil, then add to the tomato sauce.
  • Instead of parmesan, use cubed fresh mozzarella or asiago cheese. A creamier cheese complements the freshness of the tomato sauce.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of chopped chili flakes into the tomato mix for a spicier version of this Pomodoro sauce.
  • For a low-carb meal, substitute cooked spaghetti squash for the capellini pasta.
  • If you would like to add some meat, add 1/4 cup of cooked ham, pancetta, or bacon into the tomato sauce.


Here’s a list of what you need:

  • Garlic
  • Plum tomatoes
  • Fresh basil
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Capellini pasta
  • Ground black pepper
Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro ingredients

How to Make Capellini Pomodoro

  1. Prepare pasta according to package instructions.
  2. Heat olive oil and add garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until fragrant.
    olive oil and mined garlic in a skillet
  3. Add tomatoes and pepper. Cook just until heated, stirring constantly.
  4. Place hot, cooked pasta into a large bowl.
  5. Pour tomato mixture over pasta.
  6. Add basil and Parmesan cheese.
    capellini pomodoro ingredients in a large bowl
  7. Toss gently and serve immediately with Parmesan.
a bowl of copycat Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro

Love Olive Garden? Try these copycat recipes!

  • Capellini Primavera
  • Olive Garden Breadsticks
  • Pasta e Fagioli Soup
  • Peach Cheesecake
  • Shrimp Alfredo Recipe
  • Steak Alfredo
  • Toscana Soup

Favorite Pasta Recipes

  • Crab Fettuccine
  • Hamburger Helper Lasagna
  • New Orleans Pasta
  • Spaghetti Salad
  • Taco Spaghetti Bake
  • White Wine Shrimp Pasta

Check out more of my simple pasta recipes and the best Olive Garden copycat recipes here on CopyKat!

copycat Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro in a bowl

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Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro

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Olive Garden Capellini Pomodoro is a light dinner that is perfect for summer.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Capellini Pomodoro, Olive Garden Recipes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 602kcal
Author Stephanie Manley


  • 12 ounces capellini pasta cooked
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 pounds plum tomatoes seeded and diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 ounce basil leaves minced
  • 3 ounces Parmesan cheese


  • Prepare pasta according to the package instructions.
  • Heat the olive oil, add the garlic, and cook until it turns white.
  • Add the tomatoes and pepper and heat thoroughly (about 2-3 minutes), stirring constantly (tomatoes should not lose their shape). Remove from the heat.
  • Transfer the hot, cooked pasta into a large bowl. Gently toss the pasta with the tomato mixture, the basil, and half of the parmesan cheese.
  • Serve immediately and pass the remaining parmesan.


Calories: 602kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 14mg | Sodium: 357mg | Potassium: 767mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 2430IU | Vitamin C: 32.8mg | Calcium: 308mg | Iron: 2.2mg

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